Sister Donna Quinn Suspends Activism for Abortion Rights

There’s a headline you won’t see often anywhere.

From the Chicago Tribune:

For decades, Sister Donna Quinn has championed the rights of women to use contraception, seek ordination and end unwanted pregnancies.

The Dominican nun has picketed for abortion rights inWashington, petitioned the pope for a female archbishop and escorted women into abortion clinics.

But as the Vatican turns up scrutiny of the nation’s nuns and U.S. Roman Catholic bishops refuse to support universal health care if it covers abortion, Quinn has put her crusade on hold.

"I want to be clear that this is my decision," she said in a statement Tuesday, saying she would suspend her role as a peacekeeper outside the ACU Health Clinic in Hinsdale. "Respect for women’s moral agency is of critical importance to me, and I look forward to continuing to dialogue with our congregation on these matters as a way of informing my actions as well as educating the community."

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin-based Sinsinawa Dominican order announced that Quinn had been reprimanded for escorting patients into a Hinsdale clinic that provides abortions.

"After investigating the allegation, congregation leaders have informed Sister Donna that her actions are in violation of her profession," Sister Patricia Mulcahey, head of the Sinsinawa Dominicans, said in a statement. "They regret that her actions have created controversy."

It’s no surprise that Sr. Donna Quinn has been asked to curtail her activities. What is amazing, in this climate, is the fact that she has been able to keep working in these activities so long.

What should be more alarming for American Catholics is the fact that the Vatican is investigating nuns in the United States. The sisters "regret that [Sr. Donna Quinn’s] actions have created controversy?" Really? Are the sisters aware of the controversy Christ created? Do they not remember that Jesus went out of his way to spend time with sinners? With those who society stepped on?

Did you know that the Vatican is requiring that each order foot the bill for these investigations? Yes, that’s true. Each order must pay for the airfare, room and board for the Inquisitors from Rome. No kidding at all.

The Vatican would do well to get in touch with the spirit of these women who do these good works.

But the fraternity of bishops, radical conservatives all, won’t get that ever.

My prayers are with Sr. Donna Quinn, and with all American nuns under investigation by bishops who have forgotten Christ’s many controversies.